With two weeks of the NFL season in the books, some interesting storylines have emerged. Many expected teams like the Bills, Bucs, and Chiefs to start 2-0, while the hot starts for the Eagles, Giants, and Dolphins are more of a surprise. Fans of these teams are likely ecstatic, while others find themselves on the opposite end of the spectrum. With still 15 games to go and many games to bet on, fans can try https://www.thesportsgeek.com/online-casinos/ to find other games they might like. So, which winless teams have the most potential?
7) The Carolina Panthers
Since buying the team in May 2018, David Tepper has had a different quarterback lead the team in passing yards each season. A sad list of Cam Newton, Kyle Allen, Teddy Bridgewater, and Sam Darnold appears poised to add Baker Mayfield this season. Unsurprisingly, the team has struggled each season, finishing no higher than 3rd place. This year, despite the return of a healthy Christian McCaffrey, the team blew a late lead to a Jacoby Brissett-led Cleveland Browns team in week 1 before losing another close contest to the New York Giants.
Perhaps the most confusing aspect of the Panthers is seemingly trusting Baker Mayfield’s arm more than McCaffrey’s legs. In the two games this season, Mayfield has attempted 56 passes (completing under 54%) while McCaffrey has been limited to only 25 carries. Some of this is likely part of an attempt to keep the 2019 rushing leader healthy, however, it could very well cost embattled coach Matt Rhule his job.
6) The Atlanta Falcons
Joining the Panthers is their fellow NFC South rival. The Falcons rebuilt this off-season as they shipped long-term quarterback and former MVP Matt Ryan while adding Marcus Mariota and Desmond Ridder. With last year’s emergence of Kyle Pitts, the top-10 selection of Drake London, and the weakening of the division, the Falcons hoped to be a pleasant surprise this season.
Instead, the team lost a close game while blowing a late lead to the New Orleans Saints in the opener before finding themselves down a cursed 28-3 before a daring comeback fell just short against the defending champions LA Rams in week 2. Surprisingly, Pitts has played a more limited role in the Falcons; offense and while Mariota has done an alright job as the team’s quarterback, it feels likely that if the losses keep piling up, Ridder will get a look sooner rather than later.
5) The Indianapolis Colts
The good news for Matt Ryan is that he is no longer on the 6th ranked team on this list. The bad news is he finds himself only 1 spot higher. The Colts, on paper, looked ready to challenge the Tennessee Titans for the division crown. Instead, the team has fallen flat on their faces while Ryan looks to be a shell of his former self.
After an embarrassing loss, in the final game, to the lowly Jacksonville Jaguars last year knocked the Colts out of a playoff spot, the team chose former-QB Carson Wentz to be the scapegoat. An uninspiring week 1 tie against the Houston Texans saw kicker Rodrigo Blankenship kicked to the curb. When things looked like they couldn’t get any worse, the team was shut out by the Jaguars. Despite Ryan’s struggles, the team only gave star running back Jonathan Taylor 9 carries in the blowout. If the team doesn’t turn it around soon, coach Frank Reich and GM Chirs Ballard could very well be gone.
4) The Houston Texans
Unlike the other teams on the list, the Texans seem to be moving in the right direction after putting the Deshaun Watson saga firmly in the rearview mirror. While the team likely won’t see a lot of wins coming their way, the organization has to be happy with the early returns from third overall pick Derek Stingley Jr. Meanwhile, the team should get an answer to the question if Davis Mills can be a long-term successful starter.
After a surprising tie against the Colts, Houston almost pulled off a week 2 upset over the surprisingly vulnerable Denver Broncos. The defense held Russell Wilson to a completion percentage under 50%, but unfortunately, the offense had trouble moving the ball. In the short term, the offense should see a boost as rookie running back Dameon Pierce gets more comfortable in the NFL, and in the longer term, the team should see the return of wide receiver John Metchie III after his battle with cancer.
3) The Tennessee Titans
Despite losing All Pro running back Derrick Henry, the Titans bulldozed their way to the number one seed last year in the AFC. In a weak division, many expected the Titans to once again win their division and compete for a Super Bowl. Instead, the team was narrowly upset by the New York Giants to open the season before being absolutely embarrassed this past Monday night against the Buffalo Bills.
Many teams will likely struggle against the Bills this year but Tennessee appeared to be multiple tiers below the AFC favorites. The week 2 blowout eventually saw the debut of talented rookie quarterback Malik Willis and the Titans may be left wondering if they’ve reached their ceiling with Ryan Tannehill. If the season starts slipping away, don’t be surprised if the Titans try and find out what they have with Willis before this year’s draft.
2) The Cincinnati Bengals
As head coach of the Bengals, Zac Taylor has posted the following records: 2-14, 4-11-1, 10-7 and a Super Bowl appearance, and 0-2 to start the season. At some point, fans are left to question if he is the dynamic play caller that won an AFC Championship or if he is a coach that is more likely to draft in the top-10.
The Bengals started the season off in brutal fashion as Taylor’s poor clock management led the team to snatch a defeat out of the jaws of a tie. Week 2 saw another disappointing loss to a Dak Prescott-less Dallas Cowboys. While the team certainly possesses the high end talent, with Joe Burrow and Ja’Marr Chase leading the way, the coaching will need to improve quickly if they want to keep pace in the AFC North.
1) The Las Vegas Raiders
The Raiders were one of the flashier teams this past off-season when they lured coach Josh McDaniels out of New England and poached Davante Adams from the Packers. Meanwhile, the new pass-rushing duo of Maxx Crosby and Chandler Jones was expected to be one of the best in the league.
Instead, the team got off to a slow start falling to the Los Angeles Chargers in week 1 before allowing the Cardinals to score the final 22 points this past Sunday. Starting 0-2 in the insanely talented AFC west might put hopes for the division out of reach. While the Davante Adams/Derek Carr is taking a bit longer than expected to re-emerge in the NFL, this team still has too much talent not to make a run at a playoff spot.
Let us know which teams you expect to make the playoffs in the comments below!
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